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Students ‘Spring’ Into Action to Aid Local Nonprofits


More than a dozen students and staff devoted a portion of their weeklong hiatus from classes to take part in an organized Alternative Spring Break at five local agencies. “The focus was on giving back to the Williamsport community,” said Sammie L. Davis, coordinator of diversity and cultural life. “It’s important to let our students see that they’re part of that community, and that they don’t have to travel more than a few blocks to make a real difference.” The Penn College group, which represented a cross-section of academic areas and organizational interests, volunteered at the American Rescue Workers, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, James V. Brown Library, the Leighton Place senior living community and the Salvation Army. Among the much-appreciated outreach on behalf of the nonprofits, volunteers provided basic maintenance, cleaned out a freezer, prepared lunch, played board games and socialized with residents, put away canned goods, contributed to a “thank a donor” display, made holiday wreaths out of discarded Christmas trees … and generally learned the easy-to-attain benefit of helping someone in need.

– Photos by Tia G. La, pre-physician assistant student

Not unlike the Wright Brothers, whose airborne adventures took off from a bicycle repair shop, aviation maintenance technology student Samuel J. Pham fixes bikes during a service assignment. Pham, of Camp Hill, was among students helping the American Rescue Workers.
Not unlike the Wright Brothers, whose airborne adventures took off from a bicycle repair shop, aviation maintenance technology student Samuel J. Pham fixes bikes during a service assignment. Pham, of Camp Hill, was among students helping the American Rescue Workers.

Jonathan P. Bailey, an exercise science student from Philadelphia, helps clean up the children's vegetable garden at James V Brown Library.
Jonathan P. Bailey, an exercise science student from Philadelphia, helps clean up the children’s vegetable garden at James V Brown Library.

Volunteers help sort and shelve at the Salvation Army Food Pantry ...
Volunteers help sort and shelve at the Salvation Army Food Pantry …

... including Shelby E. Lynch, of Williamsport, an individual studies major maneuvering packaged food across the gymnasium floor.
… including Shelby E. Lynch, of Williamsport, an individual studies major maneuvering packaged food across the gymnasium floor.

Breaking bread and sharing stories at Leighton Place
Breaking bread and sharing stories at Leighton Place

Business management major Tamaka Carter, of Williamsport, dusts library shelves.
Business management major Tamaka Carter, of Williamsport, dusts library shelves.

Student volunteers assist Habitat for Humanity ...
Student volunteers assist Habitat for Humanity …

... at the nonprofit organization's ReStore on Rose Street, where do-it-yourselfers can purchase furniture and home-improvement materials below retail.
… at the nonprofit organization’s ReStore on Rose Street, where do-it-yourselfers can purchase furniture and home-improvement materials below retail.

Jake C. Forelli (left), an engineering design technology student from Damascus, and resident Steve Sykes assemble lamps to be sold at the American Rescue Workers Thrift Store.
Jake C. Forelli (left), an engineering design technology student from Damascus, and resident Steve Sykes assemble lamps to be sold at the American Rescue Workers Thrift Store.

A work detail beautifies an already-appealing area of the library ...
A work detail beautifies an already-appealing area of the library …

... lending hands (and using heads) in civic service.
… lending hands (and using heads) in civic service.

Sammie L. Davis, Samuel J. Pham and Michael V. Saylor, of Gettysburg, talk with Jon Hagan over lunch.
Sammie L. Davis, Samuel J. Pham and Michael V. Saylor, of Gettysburg, talk with Jon Hagan over lunch.

Back on campus, time for debriefing and reflection in the fireside coziness of the Thompson Professional Development Center
Back on campus, time for debriefing and reflection in the fireside coziness of the Thompson Professional Development Center

 

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